Police Officer II Russell Lee Peterson, Jr.

Police Officer II Russell Lee Peterson, Jr.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada

End of Watch Tuesday, March 24, 1998

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Russell Lee Peterson, Jr.

Police Officer Russell Peterson was killed while participating in a training exercise for the police department's Search and Rescue Team on Echo Face near the Cathedral Rock area of Mount Charleston.

He and another team member of the 6-person team were climbing a frozen water wall that was approximately 160 feet high. The other climber went up first, and as he prepared to change off the safety system, the ice above him began to break off. Officer Peterson, who was still on the ground, held onto the rope so that his partner could remain against the wall and avoid being hit by the large pieces of ice. One of the chunks of ice struck Officer Peterson on the head, breaking his neck. Once the landslide stopped, his partner climbed down and determined Officer Peterson had suffered fatal injuries. He snowshoed to a nearby camp, where he was able to call for help.

Officer Peterson's body was located under the landslide debris, still holding onto the rope which was able to hold his partner against the rock wall, saving his life.

Officer Peterson had served with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for eight years. He had turned 40 the day before his death. He is survived by his wife.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 3879

Incident Details

  • Cause Weather/Natural disaster


Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Peterson,
On today, the 25th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Las Vegas. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

March 24, 2023

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